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Politics, bribery charges swirl around Ugandan oil

Saturday - 5/18/2013, 7:53pm  ET

Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- Even before the first drops flow, Uganda's oil sector is beset by bribery allegations against officials, tax-related cases abroad that cost the government millions in legal fees, and the alleged interference of a president whose firm control of the sector worries transparency campaigners.

Uganda, which has confirmed oil deposits of about 3.5 billion barrels, wants to extract at least 1.2 billion barrels over the next three decades.

But some experts and analysts worry that the country got off to a false start and remains too politically unstable to avoid some of the mistakes made by other oil-rich but poor countries. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has the final say before any deals are signed with oil companies, saying this is to ensure the country's interests are always protected.

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